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Approaching questions in forensic authorship analysis

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Abstract

This chapter demonstrates diversity in the activity of authorship and the corresponding diversity of forensic authorship analysis questions and techniques. Authorship is discussed in terms of Love’s (2002) multifunctional description of precursory, executive, declarative and revisionary authorship activities and the implications of this distinction for forensic problem solving. Four different authorship questions are considered. These are ‘How was the text produced?’, ‘How many people wrote the text?’, ‘What kind of person wrote the text?’ and ‘What is the relationship of a queried text with comparison texts?’ Different approaches to forensic authorship analysis are discussed in terms of their appropriateness to answering different authorship questions. The conclusion drawn is that no one technique will ever be appropriate to all problems.

References

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